Like many groups throughout the country, the Prince George’s County Young Democrats (PGCYD) held a debate party to cheer on their party’s nominee for president. On Sept. 26, the group convened at Dave & Buster’s restaurant in Largo, Md., to view the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign between Democrat Hillary R. Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.


Maurice Simpson Jr., is the president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats. (Courtesy photo)

“We are here to cheer Hillary to victory tonight,” Maurice Simpson Jr., the president of the organization, told the AFRO.

The PGCYD consists of young adults who are committed to working for and promoting the Democratic Party and its values. It has long been a training ground for county leaders including U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Maryland State Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-District 27), who has presided over his chamber for 29 years, the longest of any state legislator in the country.

Hoyer has maintained close ties with the organization since becoming a politician and was at the event shaking hands and talking with organization members and guests, but he left before the debate started.

Simpson will be a candidate for Maryland delegate in 2018 and the Rev. Joseph Lynn Kitchen Jr., a member of the PGCYD, is the president of the Young Democrats of Maryland.

Other political notables at the party included Maryland Del. Carolyn J.B. Howard (D-District 24), Prince George’s County Board of Education member Edward Burroughs III (District 8), Prince George’s County Board of Education aspirant in District 1 David Murray, Prince George’s County Seventh Circuit Court of Maryland candidate Ingrid Turner, and Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee member Belinda Queen-Howard.

Throughout the evening, Clinton received nods of approval and applause for crafty one-liners such as calling Trump’s economic plan “trumped up, trickle-down economics” and “Donald, you live in your own reality.” Clinton also delighted the crowd by needling Trump for criticizing America’s struggling infrastructure by saying he should have helped by paying his federal taxes and for not releasing his tax returns, she suggested that the billionaire is not as rich as he claims “or not as charitable.”

Some members of the audience snapped their fingers and clapped when Clinton quoted First Lady Michelle Obama saying, in reference to waging a campaign, “when they go low, we go high.” Female participants reacted loudly when Trump justified calling actress Rosie O’Donnell derogatory names.

Simpson, who serves as the county’s leader for the Clinton campaign, was proud of the way his candidate performed. “I think Secretary Clinton executed her strategy for the debate well,” he said. “She stressed Democratic values and is suited to be our next president.”

Lexima, a resident from Charles County, Md., told the AFRO that she came to the debate party leaning toward Clinton but wanted to give Trump a chance to make his case to her. Trump failed, she said.

“Donald Trump wasn’t prepared for this debate,” Lexima said. “He didn’t know the issues.”

Bluford said that Trump’s attitude toward women is unacceptable. “He is a sexist,” she said. “He always talks about women in a derogatory way. His performance tonight was embarrassing. If he becomes president, he will get us into a war.”